Intro: rugby team plane crash and cannibalism
On October 13, 1972, a chartered flight carrying an amateur Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes mountains. Of the 45 people on board, 12 died instantly, while another 17 died later from injuries and exposure. The remaining 16 survivors resorted to cannibalism, eating the bodies of those killed, to survive 72 days in freezing temperatures before being rescued.
The story brought international attention and ignited the debate about cannibalism ethics in extreme, life-threatening situations. Continue reading to find out, “Who was eaten in the Andes plane crash?“
Where are the plane crash survivors today?
Of the 16 people rescued in 1972, eight are still alive today, almost 50 years later. Several survivors, including Parrado, Canessa, Rodriguez, and the Strauch cousins, have shared their accounts over the years through books, lectures, and documentaries.
Last year, for the 50th anniversary of their rescue, the remaining survivors gathered in Uruguay along with their families to commemorate the disaster. Many have become successful professionals, authors, and motivational speakers.
Who was eaten in the andes plane crash?
Those who died in the initial crash or from injuries soon after were among the first to consume. During the next ten weeks, more passengers died in the harsh conditions, including one who was killed in an avalanche, and the survivors ate their bodies.
In his book, Eduardo Strauch revealed that it was mainly him and his two cousins who harvested flesh from the bodies to distribute to the others.The group had made a pact that if anyone died, the rest could use their bodies for food if they needed to survive.
How were they found after the Andes plane crash?
Two months after the crash, survivors Parrado, Canessa, and Vizintín climbed into the mountains of Chile to get help. After ten days of hiking almost 40 miles in freezing temperatures with very scanty food, they came across Chilean men on horseback. These men alerted authorities to rescue them. The next day, Parrado dispatched helicopters to the Argentina crash site.
The dangerous terrain only allowed half the survivors to be airlifted on the first day. A second rescue trip was made the next morning to retrieve the final survivors.
1972 Andes plane crash movie
A few movies and shows have dramatized the real-life disaster. A 1993 feature film called Alive starred Ethan Hawke and was based on the 1974 book documenting survivors’ accounts. In 2023, the Showtime TV series Yellowjackets contained elements inspired by the crash story. Most recently, the 2023 film Society of the Snow chronicles the events and difficult decisions the group faced to stay alive.
The Spanish-language Netflix movie received critical praise for balancing traumatic subject matter with humanity and care.
How many were eaten in the plane crash?
All 16 survivors resorted to cannibalism to survive after food supplies ran out. They had no other means of getting protein until they were rescued over two months later. Some members were initially very reluctant and waited longer before consuming flesh. In his book, Canessa estimated that to endure 72 days, the group would have needed to eat around 40 kilograms of human meat each. By the time Parrado and Canessa hiked out for help, Canessa had lost almost half his body weight.
Ande’s plane crashes half-eaten leg.
Photos published on the front pages of two Chilean newspapers showed half of a human leg being dried and prepared for consumption by starving crash survivors. The images provided proof of cannibalism when the rescued survivors revealed it only to family and authorities; the news leaked to the media shortly after. The pictures validated their accounts but also caused temporary backlash for not disclosing cannibalism initially.
Andes plane crash location map
The crash site is located in a very remote area of the mountains on the Argentina-Chile border. It is approximately 60 miles east of the originally planned flight path towards Santiago. The coordinates of the glacier where the Fairchild aircraft ultimately rested are 34°45’53.5″S and 70°17’06.6″W.
When Parrado and Canessa hiked out for help, they walked west for ten days and around 38 miles, following a route along a winding river valley before finding signs of civilization.
Who died in the Andes plane crash?
29 of the 45 people aboard Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 died when the plane crashed in the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972.
How many people died in the Andes plane crash?
A total of 29 of the 45 passengers and crew onboard the aircraft died in the Andes plane crash.
Did Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a plane crash?
Six members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died when their chartered Convair CV-300 plane crashed in Mississippi on October 20, 1977.
How far did Nando Parrado walk?
To get help after surviving the Andes plane crash, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa hiked roughly 61 km (38 miles) over ten days through the mountains of Chile before finding people.